Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Meat industry must not to be used as scapegoat for climate change

We Must Change Land Use to Save Humanity UN: Misuse of land and agriculture is driving climate change
Gustavo Carr | 10 August, 2019, 17:08

Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of one of the IPCC working groups behind the report said: "Land already in use could feed the world in a changing climate and provide biomass for renewable energy, but early, far-reaching action across several areas is required". And, as the United Nations report says, that toll is being exacerbated by climate change.

"The report highlights the importance of carefully designed policies that do not contradict each other or lead to unintended consequences, and careful planning and consideration of the long term in decision-making", she said.

"The choices we make about sustainable land management can help reduce and in some cases reverse these adverse impacts", said Kiyoto Tanabe, co-chair of an IPCC task force on greenhouse gasses. "Sustainable land management can help secure a future that is comfortable".

The likelihood, intensity and duration of extreme heat and rainfall can be significantly impacted by changes in land conditions such as deforestation and desertification, the scientists noted.

"We don't want a message of despair", said science panel official Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London.

"We are studying how this would translate into the food we eat and also in a range of different crops, we are seeing similar results", said report author Cynthia Rosenzweig, senior research scientist and head of the Climate Impacts Group, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, CNN reported.

It also means diversifying the kinds of trees being planted in forests rather than focusing entirely on coniferous trees, which burn differently than deciduous trees. The report takes an unprecedented look at the impacts of the climate crisis on land and how land use is affecting the climate, according to the Associated Press.

The global food system needs urgent reform, less meat consumption and more legumes, as three billion people worldwide are malnourished and food production is exceeding planetary boundaries, scientists have warned in a new report.

Climate change is putting the world's food supply at risk.

Muslims at haj gather on Mount Arafat to atone for sins
Those on the hajj view the pilgrimage as an opportunity to strengthen the faith, erase past sins and start anew. Yemeni pilgrims are shown walking near the tent city of Mina.

Another compelling reason not to espouse a purely plant-based diet is that billions of poor people around the world depend on fish, and to a lesser extent meat, for protein and nutrients that may not be readily available elsewhere.

A new United Nations scientific report says climate change is hitting us where it counts: the stomach - not to mention the forests, plants and animals.

Balanced diets should include animal-sourced food produced in low-greenhouse gas emission systems, a major report says. Already, more than 10% of the world's population remains undernourished, and some authors of the report warned in interviews that food shortages could lead to an increase in cross-border migration. He hopes that when the public and politicians see reports like this one they remember that food and agriculture are key factors in the fight against climate change. It states that 25%-30% of total food produced now is either lost or wasted and that if this amount could be reduced, it could take some pressure off of the need to convert additional land for agriculture. Fixing that would free up millions of square miles of land.

At another 1.8 degrees of warming from now (1 degree Celsius), which could happen in about 50 years, it said those risks "are projected to be very high". "That will likely get worse, especially in tropical and subtropical parts of the world", the report says.

Similarly, the report found about 25-30% of food globally is lost or wasted. Urgent action is required to prevent further impairment of land's ability to act as a carbon sink.

A vegan's carbon footprint is only 11 per cent less than a vegetarian's every year - amounting to 1.5 tonnes.

"But the important finding of this report, I think, is that this additional gift from nature is limited".

He said the agricultural sector has to go on the offensive on the issue, showing how, instead of agriculture being the problem, agriculture is actually the solution.